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Narrow glass threads synchronize the light emissions of distant atoms

If you holler at someone across your yard, the sound travels on the bustling movement of air molecules. But over long distances your voice needs help to reach its destination-help provided by a telephone or the Internet. Atoms don’t yell, but they can share information through light. And they also need help connecting over long distances.

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Lens trick doubles odds for quantum interaction

It’s not easy to bounce a single particle of light off a single atom that is less than a billionth of a metre wide. However, researchers at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore have shown they can double the odds of success, an innovation that might be useful in quantum computing and metrology. The findings were published 31 October in Nature Communications.

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Material could bring optical communication onto silicon chips

Ultrathin films of a semiconductor that emits and detects light can be stacked on top of silicon wafers, researchers report in a study that could help bring optical communication onto silicon chips.

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High-speed Quantum Memory for Photons

Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a memory that can store photons. These quantum particles travel at the speed of light and are thus suitable for high-speed data transfer. The researchers were able to store them in an atomic vapor and read them

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Ultrafast Camera Captures 'Sonic Booms' of Light for First Time

Just as aircraft flying at supersonic speeds create cone-shaped sonic booms, pulses of light can leave behind cone-shaped wakes of light. Now, a superfast camera has captured the first-ever video of these events.

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Physicists discover 'smoke rings' made of laser light

Most basic physics textbooks describe laser light in fairly simple terms: a beam travels directly from one point to another and, unless it strikes a mirror or other reflective surface, will continue traveling along an arrow-straight path, gradually expanding in size due to the wave nature of light. But these basic rules go out the window with high-intensity laser light.

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Device can theoretically trap a light ‘bit’ for an infinite amount of time

(Phys.org)-Researchers have designed a nanoscale device that, under ideal conditions, can confine a “bit” of light (that is, light with a single precise energy value) for an infinite amount of time. Although a physically realized device would inevitably lose some of the trapped light due to material imperfections, the researchers expect that it should be possible to completely compensate for this loss by incorporating some form of optical gain like that used in lasers, so that in principle the lifetime can be infinitely large even in a real device.

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Device can theoretically trap a light 'bit' for an infinite amount of time

(Phys.org)-Researchers have designed a nanoscale device that, under ideal conditions, can confine a “bit” of light (that is, light with a single precise energy value) for an infinite amount of time. Although a physically realized device would inevitably lose some of the trapped light due to material imperfections, the researchers expect that it should be possible to completely compensate for this loss by incorporating some form of optical gain like that used in lasers, so that in principle the lifetime can be infinitely large even in a real device.

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Most precise test of Lorentz symmetry for the photon finds that the speed of light is indeed constant

(Phys.org)-The laws of physics are the same no matter which direction you’re facing or how fast you’re moving-it’s such an intuitive concept that most people probably don’t know that it has a name: Lorentz symmetry. Over the past several decades, physicists have been testing Lorentz symmetry at ever-higher degrees of precision, as violations of the foundational property are predicted by a number of proposals that aim to unify the two major theories of modern physics: general relativity and the standard model of particle physics.

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SLAC's ultrafast 'electron camera' visualizes ripples in 2-D material

New research led by scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University shows how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Revealed by a brand new “electron camera,” one of the world’s speediest, this unprecedented level of detail could guide researchers in the development of efficient solar cells, fast and flexible electronics and high-performance chemical catalysts.

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SLAC’s ultrafast ‘electron camera’ visualizes ripples in 2-D material

New research led by scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University shows how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Revealed by a brand new “electron camera,” one of the world’s speediest, this unprecedented level of detail could guide researchers in the development of efficient solar cells, fast and flexible electronics and high-performance chemical catalysts.

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A quantum leap in nanoparticle efficiency

In an international study Univ. of Melbourne and NIST found that pairs of closely spaced nanoparticles made of gold can act as “optical antennas”. These antennae concentrate the light shining on them into tiny regions located in the gap between the nanoparticles. Researchers found the precise geometry of nanoparticle pairs that maximizes light concentration, resolving a hotly debated area of quantum physics.

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Research Points To New Methods for Artificial Photosynthesis and Nanostructures

Physicists has published new nanoscience advances that they and other scientists say make possible new nanostructures and nanotechnologies with huge potential applications ranging from clean energy and quantum computing advances to new sensor development.

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What Lit Up The Universe? Astronomers May Be On The Brink Of An Answer

Most scientists can see, hear, smell, touch or even taste their research. But astronomers can only study light – photons traveling billions of light-years across the cosmos before getting scooped up by an array of radio dishes or a single parabolic mirror orbiting the Earth.

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Fiber optic light pipes in the retina do much more than simple image transfer

(Phys.org) -Having the photoreceptors at the back of the retina is not a design constraint, it is a design feature. The idea that the vertebrate eye, like a traditional front-illuminated camera, might have been improved somehow if it had only been able to orient its wiring behind the photoreceptor layer, like a cephalopod, is folly. Indeed in simply engineered systems, like CMOS or CCD image sensors, a back-illuminated design manufactured by flipping the silicon wafer and thinning it so that light hits the photocathode without having to navigate the wiring layer can improve photon capture across a wide wavelength band. But real eyes are much more crafty than that.

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How DNA Protects Itself from UV Light

Originating from molecular biology, Genomics branched out to become a vast field that includes research into the structure and function of genomes, evolution and the effects of genes on health and disease. The Channel also covers developments in Genetic Engineering and Gene Therapy.